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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Ralph Smeed

Funeral services set for Smeed

Funeral services have been set for Ralph Smeed, the 88-year-old libertarian activist and Canyon County political icon who died this week of pancreatic cancer. Smeed will be remembered in a service Monday, Sept. 20, at 3 p.m. at the Jewett Auditorium on the campus of the College of Idaho in Caldwell. Also, on Saturday morning on KBOI-AM radio, Doug McConnaughey will host a Ralph Smeed tribute program from 5 to 8 a.m., and invites callers to share their stories about Smeed.

In a posting today, Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey shares a remembrance of Smeed from former Idaho Sen. Steve Symms, and Marc Johnson writes about his long interaction with Smeed at The Johnson Post here, in which he calls Smeed “one of those characters who can’t help but enrich our political system.” In 2000, Smeed talked to me about mentoring Butch Otter, who came to him for advice before his first run for the state Legislature in 1972, and Otter recalled that Smeed “gave me my first $20.” Smeed later called back to complain that I described him as “an outspoken, often profane libertarian,” though he didn’t dispute the statement’s accuracy. This year, according to Idaho Secretary of State’s records, Smeed contributed to just one Idaho politician: Sharon Ullman, who mounted a challenge to Otter in the Republican primary in May.

Smeed dies at 88

Canyon County libertarian activist Ralph Smeed died yesterday at the age of 88, of pancreatic cancer. Smeed was a prickly Idaho political icon, a mentor of Gov. Butch Otter, a friend of Congressman Walt Minnick, and a confidante of former Sen. Steve Symms. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Smeed undergoing cancer treatment

Here’s a news item from The Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A libertarian activist who once called Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter “obscenely handsome” is being treated for cancer at a Houston clinic. Ralph Smeed, from Caldwell, is tolerating his medication, according to an e-mail distributed by supporters including Elizabeth Hodge, a former Republican state lawmaker. Another e-mail, from a group that backs Ron Paul, says Smeed has pancreatic cancer. Smeed is at the Burzynski Clinic, which according to its website relies on the “natural biochemical defense system of our body, capable of combatting cancer without harming the healthy cells. Hodge says the 88-year-old Smeed’s tumor hasn’t spread. In addition to his gushing support for Otter, Smeed is known for his billboard in Caldwell with political commentaries, including, “It has been so bitter cold lately that some politicians have had their hands in their own pockets.”

Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey, who spoke with Smeed today, has more here, and here’s a report critical of the treatment Smeed has chosen.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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